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Current Affairs

Ahir regiment

Date: 24 March 2022 Tags: Miscellaneous

Issue

Ahir community members are sitting on an indefinite protest demanding the formation of an Ahir regiment in the Indian Army.

 

Background

The ‘Sanyukt Ahir Regiment Morcha’ group is spearheading the protests, demanding the regiment.

 

Details

  • The group had led protests in 2018 and sat on a hunger strike. They had withdrawn their protest after assurances from politicians.

  • The group has now intensified its protests and has derived more support from community members from South Haryana and Rajasthan.

 

The demands

  • The Ahirs say that Indian Army has many caste-based regiments and demand one for Ahirs as they have large representation in the forces.

  • They claim that they have laid down their lives for the country and want recognition like other communities. 

  • Currently, there are caste-based regiments for Sikhs, Gorkhas, Jats, Garhwals, Rajputs and Mahars. President’s Body Guard is open only for Rajputs, Jats and Sikh regiments. 

 

Political support

  • The issue has gained support in the Ahirwal belt comprising of Gurgaon, Rewari, South-west Delhi and Eastern Rajasthan.

  • Representatives of the community have assured the protestors that the issue will be raised in the Parliament and a solution will be derived.

 

Caste-based regiments

  • Creating Army regiments based on caste and region was a British legacy. All the existing caste-based regiments were made before independence.

  • Since independence, no regiments have been raised in the army along caste lines in order to maintain unity among personnel.

  • The formation of Ahir regiment may not be feasible as other communities may also demand regiments along caste lines, which may hamper the idea of unified armed force.